|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Plural cherubim, the name of certain symbolical figures frequently mentioned in Scripture. They are first mentioned in connection with the expulsion of our first parents from Eden (Genesis 3:24). There is no intimation given of their shape or form. They are next mentioned when Moses was commanded to provide furniture for the tabernacle (Exodus 25:17-20; 26:1, 31). God promised to commune with Moses "from between the cherubim" (25:22). This expression was afterwards used to denote the Divine abode and presence (Numbers 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; Isaiah 37:16; Psalm 80:1; 99:1). In Ezekiel's vision (10:1-20) they appear as living creatures supporting the throne of God. From Ezekiel's description of them (1;10; 41:18, 19), they appear to have been compound figures, unlike any real object in nature; artificial images possessing the features and properties of several animals. Two cherubim were placed on the mercy-seat of the ark; two of colossal size overshadowed it in Solomon's temple. Ezekiel (1:4-14) speaks of four; and this number of "living creatures" is mentioned in Revelation 4:6. Those on the ark are called the "cherubim of glory" (Hebrews 9:5), i.e., of the Shechinah, or cloud of glory, for on them the visible glory of God rested. They were placed one at each end of the mercy-seat, with wings stretched upward, and their faces "toward each other and toward the mercy-seat." They were anointed with holy oil, like the ark itself and the other sacred furniture.
The cherubim were symbolical. They were intended to represent spiritual existences in immediate contact with Jehovah. Some have regarded them as symbolical of the chief ruling power by which God carries on his operations in providence (Psalm 18:10). Others interpret them as having reference to the redemption of men, and as symbolizing the great rulers or ministers of the church. Many other opinions have been held regarding them which need not be referred to here. On the whole, it seems to be most satisfactory to regard the interpretation of the symbol to be variable, as is the symbol itself.
Their office was, (1) on the expulsion of our first parents from Eden, to prevent all access to the tree of life; and (2) to form the throne and chariot of Jehovah in his manifestation of himself on earth. He dwelleth between and sitteth on the cherubim (1 Samuel 4:4; Psalm 80:1; Ezek. 1:26, 28).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) A mysterious composite being, the winged footstool and chariot of the Almighty, described in Ezekiel i. and x.
2. (n.) A symbolical winged figure of unknown form used in connection with the mercy seat of the Jewish Ark and Temple.
3. (n.) One of a order of angels, variously represented in art. In European painting the cherubim have been shown as blue, to denote knowledge, as distinguished from the seraphim (see Seraph), and in later art the children's heads with wings are generally called cherubs.
4. (n.) A beautiful child; -- so called because artists have represented cherubs as beautiful children.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ke'-rub (kerubh, Cheroub, Charoub): A place in Babylonia from which people whose genealogies had fallen into confusion went up at the return from exile (Ezra 2:59 Nehemiah 7:61); unidentified. In 1 Esdras 5:36 we read "Charaathalan leading them, and Allar," a phrase that seems to have arisen through confusion of the names in the passages cited above.
Cherub (21 Occurrences)
Exodus 25:19 Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end. You shall make the cherubim on its two ends of one piece with the mercy seat. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Exodus 37:8 one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end. He made the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 22:11 He rode on a cherub, and flew. Yes, he was seen on the wings of the wind. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:24 Five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing to the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:25 The other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubim were of one measure and one form. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 6:27 He set the cherubim within the inner house; and the wings of the cherubim were stretched forth, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 3:11 The wings of the cherubim were twenty cubits long: the wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house; and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 3:12 The wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house; and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezra 2:59 These were those who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer; but they could not show their fathers' houses, and their seed, whether they were of Israel: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Nehemiah 7:61 These were those who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not show their fathers' houses, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Psalms 18:10 He rode on a cherub, and flew. Yes, he soared on the wings of the wind. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 9:3 The glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon it was, to the threshold of the house: and he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writer's inkhorn by his side. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 10:2 He spoke to the man clothed in linen, and said, Go in between the whirling wheels, even under the cherub, and fill both your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city. He went in as I watched. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 10:4 The glory of Yahweh mounted up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of Yahweh's glory. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 10:7 The cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubim to the fire that was between the cherubim, and took of it, and put it into the hands of him who was clothed in linen, who took it and went out. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 10:9 I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside one cherub, and another wheel beside another cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like a beryl stone. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 10:14 Every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third face the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 28:14 You were the anointed cherub who covers: and I set you, so that you were on the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 28:16 By the abundance of your traffic they filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I have cast you as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed you, covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 41:18 It was made with cherubim and palm trees; and a palm tree was between cherub and cherub, and every cherub had two faces; (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)